After much hemming and hawing, I've decided to just take the plunge on a refurbished mac pro. I'm going for the 2.4 8-core westmere, and upgrading the ram & SSD from newegg and CPUs from eBay. By far much cheaper than the 12-core BTO options available. Considering it's the same motherboard as the so-called "2012" models, I would consider this the cheapest buy-in to the 2-socket / 8 mem-slot platform. I've played the waiting game with apple before and I never seem to be happy with the results. People seem to want the Mac Pro to be a hi-performance sports car. For them I would suggest a MBPr. The Mac Pro line is more like a semi-truck, meant for high-miles and long hours. Does it have USB3 or thunderbolt? no. Can I get a USB3 PCIe card sure, no problem. Does thuderbolt really matter... no not right now. Are the video cards the best in class... nope. If that's your issue do yourself a favor and build a gaming PC. I've found the ATI 5870 to be adequate for my professional 3D needs. Despite all of these so called issues. I still think the Mac Pros are the hardest working computers that I've ever had the pleasure of using. Windows just isn't an option to me. My 2006 served me loyally without issue for 6 years. (though with many upgrades). Half to problem with the Mac Pro market is the fact that the machines last as long as they do. Unlike a macbook, you don't need to upgrade every year or two. I would consider that a plus for the Mac Pro. Everyone rags on Mac Pro for being outdated, but have a look at geekbench... The fastest Mac's on the planet are Mac Pros despite their lack of thunderbolt, USB3 & Sata III. Best thing we can do is show Apple that we still want Mac Pros. Cuz waiting for the consumer line of Macs to catch up or possible refresh is going to be a long long wait.